Sign in, say "hi", ... and be welcomed.

USHPA Insurance Question FIasco

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Wed May 07, 2014 11:21 am

On May 6th, 2014, I sent the following insurance related question to Rich Hass (USHPA's President) and Mark Forbes (USHPA's Treasurer and Insurance Committee Chairman):

From: Bob Kuczewski
To: Richard Hass, Mark G. Forbes
Cc: Dan DeWeese, Alan Crouse, Corey Caffrey, Ken Baier, Brian McMahon
Subject: Specific Insurance Question
Date: Tue, May 6, 2014


Rich Hass and Mark Forbes (cc/bcc others),

I have some very specific insurance questions, and I would appreciate an official answer from USHPA. Thanks.

Let's assume that a landowner has a piece of land that is appropriate as a flying site under all jurisdictions (FAA, city, county, state, etc).

I believe we all agree that the landowner can fly at his site without needing to be a USHPA member. Correct? He can also allow others to fly at his site without any requirement for any of them to be USHPA members. Correct? I also believe he can give hang gliding and paragliding instruction without any of his instructors or students being USHPA members. In fact, he can even charge for services (flying, instructing etc), as long as he abides by local zoning and tax regulations. Correct? I believe he can do almost anything related to hang gliding and paragliding (except tandem instruction) on his land without being a USHPA member. Correct?

I think we will all agree those statements are correct (please state otherwise), so here are the real questions:

If a local club should ask to use the site, and the landowner agrees as long as they obtain USHPA site insurance, does his acceptance of that insurance suddenly prohibit him from flying at his own site as a non-USHPA member? Does his acceptance of that insurance suddenly deny him the ability to teach non-USHPA members with his non-USHPA instructors on his own land? In other words, does his acceptance of USHPA site insurance amount to a form of encumbrance of his property?

Thanks in advance for your reply.

Sincerely,
Bob Kuczewski


Here's the full response that I got back from Mark Forbes:

From: Mark G. Forbes
To: Bob Kuczewski
Cc: Richard Hass, Dan DeWeese, Alan Crouse, Corey Caffrey, Ken Baier, Brian McMahon
Subject: Re: Specific Insurance Question
Date: Tue, May 6, 2014


No. And I am not willing to engage in further discussion with you.

mark@mgforbes.com


On May 6, 2014, at 6:27, Bob Kuczewski <bob@ushawks.org> wrote:

> Thanks in advance for your reply.


Mark set the context for his "No." with his selection of my own "Thanks in advance for your reply". In other words, he was not going to reply. So I've just sent off a follow up request:

From: Bob Kuczewski
To: Richard Hass, Mark G. Forbes
Cc: Dan DeWeese, Alan Crouse, Corey Caffrey, Ken Baier, Brian McMahon
Subject: Specific Insurance Question
Date: Wed, May 7, 2014


Mark Forbes and Rich Hass (cc/bcc others),

Mark Forbes (USHPA Treasurer / Committee Chair),

     I am a USHPA member and a USHPA Chapter officer. I have asked you specific questions
     regarding USHPA insurance as outlined in my message dated May 6th, 2014 (below).

     You are the USHPA Insurance Committee Chairman. I am again asking that you answer
     those questions (below) so our Chapter's Officers and members can understand the
     coverage that they have purchased through USHPA.

     Thank you.

Rich Hass (USHPA President),

     The USHPA Insurance Program is one of the primary benefits to both members and chapters of
     USHPA. We pay money for these services, and we have a reasonable expectation to have reasonable
     questions answered. The questions I've asked of Mark Forbes (below) are very reasonable.

     If Mark Forbes is unwilling (or unable) to answer member's questions regarding insurance, then I
     officially ask that you remove him as chairman pursuant to USHPA Bylaws:

       USHPA Bylaws - Article IX, Section 4 (b) Chairs.
             :
         The President may remove any Chair of a committee without the approval of the Board of Directors.

     I understand that you will need a volunteer to replace him, and I would be willing to do that
     job immediately and during any reasonable period you might need to find a replacement.

     Thank you as well.

Sincerely,
Bob Kuczewski
Join a National Hang Gliding Organization: US Hawks at ushawks.org
Bob Kuczewski
User avatar
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 4922
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 2:40 pm
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: USHPA Insurance Question FIasco

Postby Bill Cummings » Wed May 07, 2014 3:32 pm

Bob I thought you had some interesting questions and I actually did scroll down for the answers only to find that USHPA officers unwilling to answer.

I do think your first paragraph of questions all have to be answered with a yes.

As for the “real questions” I can only guess at what USHPA might be withholding.

While assisting with the roster of the RGSA during application for site insurance we had to have a certain percentage of pilots in good standing with USHPA. We had 91% of our club members in good standing and our site insurance was approved.

On one hand it looks to me as though non members are not barred from doing anything except flying tandem and aero-towing.

On the other hand I once through peer pressure of the local water ski club and at the direction of the American Water Ski Association in Florida, could not fly anywhere on the same lake in Minnesota where the water show was performing.
If the insurer found out that there was any aerial activity during the water show they would cancel the insurance of the Hoyt Lakes Minnesota Boat Club.

If I had HAD flown I would have broken no law but the boat club would have lost their insurance.
I would assume that some such encumbrance could be brought to bare against a land owner although nothing illegal was going on.
70%.JPG
70%.JPG (25.04 KiB) Viewed 2230 times
Bill Cummings
User avatar
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 2586
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:20 pm
Location: Las Cruces NM 88005 (Region 4)

Re: USHPA Insurance Question FIasco

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Wed May 07, 2014 3:58 pm

billcummings wrote:Bob I thought you had some interesting questions and I actually did scroll down for the answers only to find that USHPA officers unwilling to answer.

This is a pattern with USHPA and Mark Forbes. Mark will spout off with pages of text on forums that will protect him (like the Oz Forum). But when asked a serious question by an actual USHPA member and an actual Chapter officer ... Mark pleads the 5th. It would be comedic if it weren't so sad.

billcummings wrote:I do think your first paragraph of questions all have to be answered with a yes.

I think you're right. Mark Forbes didn't want to state that because USHPA likes people to think that they have to be USHPA members to even look at a hang glider.

billcummings wrote:As for the “real questions” I can only guess at what USHPA might be withholding.

They know that the answer is one of two things: either their insurance actually does restrict a landowner's rights (forcing them to be USHPA members to use their own land!!) or it doesn't.

If USHPA insurance does constrain landowners, then there might be landowners who would object (as they should). But if it doesn't, then USHPA has no cause to deny the Torrey Hawks insurance just because the landowner (City of San Diego) allows other uses of their land (a paragliding concessionaire in this case). So Mark is between a rock and a hard place.

The most disgusting thing about this is that USHPA is withholding information from USHPA members and USHPA Chapter Officers. Yet we're the ones paying the money into the organization!! The members are supposed to be the owners, but it's clear that Mark Forbes and Rich Hass think they're the owners.
Join a National Hang Gliding Organization: US Hawks at ushawks.org
Bob Kuczewski
User avatar
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 4922
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 2:40 pm
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: USHPA Insurance Question FIasco

Postby Bill Cummings » Sat May 10, 2014 9:19 am

Is there in California State law, something that allows some form of a, merits brief, friend of the Court or something like is used at the Supreme Court called an Amicus Brief? A way to hook yourself to a pending lawsuit as to whether or not you support the petitioner?

Call the State Insurance Investigator’s office with a complaint that some individual or group is impeding your request for insurance.

They will dispatch one or two investigators to find out just who is standing in the way of the insurance companies’ bottom line.

I believe some states even make it personally painful for individuals improperly deigning coverage.
Bill Cummings
User avatar
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 2586
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:20 pm
Location: Las Cruces NM 88005 (Region 4)

Re: USHPA Insurance Question FIasco

Postby Bill Cummings » Sat May 10, 2014 10:28 am

Quote by Bob K.
“If USHPA insurance does constrain landowners, then there might be landowners who would object (as they should). But if it doesn't, then USHPA has no cause to deny the Torrey Hawks insurance just because the landowner (City of San Diego) allows other uses of their land (a paragliding concessionaire in this case). So Mark is between a rock and a hard place.”
Bill C. -----
The RGSA has site insurance for our Dry Canyon Launch in the Lincoln National Forest.
Other users are hikers, ATV or ORV, horseback, radio control model airplane, mountain bikers, hunters, campers, grazers, jeep, target shooters, rock climbers, and people that litter.
There are more examples but the only activity going on there that requires insurance is the RGSA. :wtf:
Bill Cummings
User avatar
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 2586
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:20 pm
Location: Las Cruces NM 88005 (Region 4)

Re: USHPA Insurance Question FIasco

Postby steveweston » Sat May 10, 2014 6:26 pm

It is odd that the city of san diego does not require insurance on airplane / glider or balloon aircraft at the local airports .
In todays world, insurance is a good thing to have but not required......

Just Torrey.
????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????/
steveweston
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:11 pm

Re: USHPA Insurance Question FIasco

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Sun May 11, 2014 9:31 am

steveweston wrote:It is odd that the city of san diego does not require insurance on airplane / glider or balloon aircraft at the local airports .
In todays world, insurance is a good thing to have but not required......

Just Torrey.
????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????/

As Bill mentioned above, there are many sports which are not required to supply insurance to conduct their activities. To a certain extent, our insurance program has shot our sport in the foot because now it's becoming an expectation at the sites where we fly. This was done by USHPA and it strengthens their control over the sport. If they operated their insurance program fairly, it might not be such an issue. But USHPA is using their monopoly in hang gliding insurance to punish chapters they don't like (like the Torrey Hawks).

This is just another example of why we need an alternative national hang gliding association. Please help build the US Hawks by posting as often as you can and encouraging your friends to join us.
Join a National Hang Gliding Organization: US Hawks at ushawks.org
Bob Kuczewski
User avatar
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 4922
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 2:40 pm
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: USHPA Insurance Question FIasco

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Mon May 26, 2014 11:34 am

billcummings wrote:Is there in California State law, ...
Call the State Insurance Investigator’s office with a complaint that some individual or group is impeding your request for insurance.

I hope we don't have to resort to this just to get our questions answered.    :(

billcummings wrote:The RGSA has site insurance for our Dry Canyon Launch in the Lincoln National Forest.
Other users are hikers, ATV or ORV, horseback, radio control model airplane, mountain bikers, hunters, campers, grazers, jeep, target shooters, rock climbers, and people that litter.
There are more examples but the only activity going on there that requires insurance is the RGSA. :wtf:

Yes, in many ways our own willingness to provide insurance is hurting our sport.    :shock:
Join a National Hang Gliding Organization: US Hawks at ushawks.org
Bob Kuczewski
User avatar
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 4922
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 2:40 pm
Location: San Diego, CA

Forum Statistics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

Options

Return to Hang Gliding General